Monica Simpson, Executive Director of Sister Song of Alabama

This is a very challenging debate that is usually black and white. Are you Pro-Choice or Pro-Life? Do you believe that women ought to have control over her body to choose what is best for her (pro-choice)? Do you believe that concepts about life supersedes any circumstance that is a barrier to life (pro-life)? These are the two prevalent arguments in the public domain. State legislatures are passing laws that outlaw abortion to the extent it does not matter ‘how’ the pregnancy occurred whether by incest (a relative) or by rape (forced sex) as a premise that life being created is most important. This new state policy violates the ‘law of the land’. The justification for this and other recent abortion laws across republican state legislatures in 2019 is to challenge our established law which upholds abortion nationally under the 14thamendment giving women the right to control her body. This law named Roe vs Wade 410 U.S. 114 (1973) where polling shows about 75% of the country agree. 

Much of the resistance and protest I have heard lies in the gray areas of debate. Activist for abortion speak to the loss of life for those women who seek termination of unwanted pregnancies. These vary with a large percentage of the reason being women are not prepared. Other early termination may be the status of the fetus and capability of the family. The list continues as the opposing view remains the same in that life is first and no circumstance need terminate the possibility of child; when a parent is unable to care for the new born, it goes up for adoption. Before Roe vs Wade different states had their own laws with women or girls going from state to state as pregnancies were not stopping. Our society struggles with how or who will educate our youth and where (school vs home), no one has reached a conclusion with consistent results. Abstinence does not stop incest nor rape. Our national position with a Supreme Court ruling has stabilized the management and safety choice of an abortion. This organization offers both perspectives https://abortion.procon.org.

There are old standing debates about when life begins. While some say at conception, others say a heartbeat still others say at birth is when human life really begins. Some cultures believe at three years old! Have you given this much thought? Our national policy affects international family practices and populations globally because we address it in the United Nations. The burden of having, caring, and rearing children can often be left to the woman without a loving, supportive, and financially capable partner or community. Once it is clear that having or not having a baby is not black or white, but full of variables, and when managed poorly could lead to circumstances where women or girls are subjected to unsafe healthcare. 

Monica Simpson, as executive director of Sister Songout of Alabama, speaks against the new abortion ban passed into law by the Alabama state legislative and is for reproductive women’s rights. She is up against boycotting from out of state organizations while protesting the ban across her state. The push of republican legislatures to pass new laws is intended for a Supreme Court resolution could possibly strike down the law of the land Roe vs Wade. Her challenges include educating the public, engaging them in protest, fighting back through lawsuits, and bring an opposing voice forcefully against the new abortion ban. Other states along with Alabama include Missouri, Utah, Kentucky, Arkansas, Mississippi, Georgia, and Ohio. Residents of those states are in shock according to news reports as these unexpected abortion bans are being signed into law by governors! It is good to know about the work of African American women in the struggle. Sister Songis Women of Color Reproductive Justice Collective. Their website is www.sistersong.net. Executive Director, Monica Raye Simpson, biography tells us of her being named ‘a New Civil Rights Leader’ in 2014 by Essence Magazine. Her background and experience of activism and artist musician makes her a unique messenger. Sister Song’s purpose ‘build(s) an effective network of individuals and organizations to improve institutional policies and systems that impact the reproductive lives of marginalized communities.’ Their network comprises of Native American, African American, Asian American, and Latina American women. 

It is good to know that Monica Simpson, a North Carolina native, rose up through the Sister Song organization to become the Executive Director. Based on her skills, talents, and experience this may be her calling as a visible, articulate, engaging speaker that works state and nationwide protecting legal rights of women arguing in favor of Row vs Wade. 

The larger question on each side of this passionate issue is what kind of society is possible from conception to death. Do we have a vision on quality of life offered within our society that is respectful, dignified, safe, legal, supportive and developmental for all individuals? How do we bring human life into our world that is most enriching to the mother, the father, relatives, and communities? As we humans struggle with this right or that law we rarely get to focus and imagine the kind of world we want for a new life? We fail over and over again when we see a narrow momentary view that leaves newborns to face each and every one of our other societal frailties and failures at each stage of development. Our society must be accountable for families practicing incest, rapists, and addressing sex before marriage in the way we run our educational and health systems, as well as local governments. We must examine our social behaviors, and old practices that send a message that conception of human life is more important than those living. We must determine whether or not women’s rights law, whether perfect or imperfect, allows us the space to figure out how our society will evolve. Indeed, we must resolve our attitudes, not so much as ‘once and for all’ or ‘going back and forth‘ but rather in the context of developing a wholesome world view of the human condition. What would it take to create a society where compassion and systemic support could help each of us to reach our full potential? Isn’t this the work for a more perfect union?   

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